The business of building your own website may seem a bit daunting, but we've outlined some of the key steps to make it a simpler, more streamlined process. Whether you're starting a personal blog or designing a site to go along with a product or business, these tips are sure to help you through the task. Take on your piece of the Internet with our guide on everything from picking a platform to copyrighting a domain name.
- Choose a platform — First and foremost, you should research and decide on an appropriate site platform. If you're writing a blog, then you may want to consider WordPress, OnSugar, or Blogger. For a more universal platform, try free sites like Webs and Webnode.
- Brainstorm branding and content — Before you launch your site, narrow down your vision. What are your goals? What would you like it to become as time goes on? Keeping your plans specific will help you develop a fitting name and relevant, related content.
- Consider the domain name — When you're deciding on a URL, it's important to think about wording, spelling, and length. Make sure to choose a domain that visitors will be able to remember, and pick a phrase that suits your material. Once you've settled on a name, follow our tips for registering the domain to secure your slice of the web.
- Look into trademark and copyright options — Educate yourself on the nature and purpose of copyright and trademark opportunities, then do a bit of research to see if it's something you may want to pursue. This is especially valuable if you're planning to share your own creative content, like stories or photography.
- Sign up for an analytics service — To help you understand what types of content work on your site, what sorts of people make up your audience, and who refers readers to your site, use a tool like Google Analytics or StatCounter.
- Browse design templates and widgets — Search the web for different templates and add-ons you might like to use for your site. You'll find everything from creative, artistic design elements to functional tools like a search bar or an RSS feed. To create a site aesthetic you're happy with, try our tips on website design.
- Establish a social network presence — Nowadays, it's a no-brainer: if you have a website, then you should have corresponding Facebook and Twitter accounts. As you decide on usernames, remember to be consistent across sites; you're creating a brand.
- Decide what you'll post and how often — Have an idea of what you'd like to include on your site, then decide on a posting schedule that works for you. Posting content at set days throughout the week will create a sense of routine for both you and your readers, who will gain a sense of what to expect and when.
- Find an audience — You want to make sure people are seeing all your hard work, right? Try to network online to gain readers. Identify other websites you admire or relate to and comment on their posts, initiate link relationships, and build an active social media presence to help expand your readership. Depending on your goals, further down the blog life line you can consider advertising opportunities.
Want even more detailed how-tos on creating your perfect corner of the Internet? Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we feature more tips and tricks for starting a website and crafting it into a personal digital masterpiece.
Source: Flickr user Marisa Vasquez